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December’s To-Do List from a Genealogist – Wisdom Wednesday

The months of November and December always seem to move by so fast!

Thanksgiving with its wonderful weather was a welcome change, and I was even more gratified by having some time to discuss genealogy with my family, albeit in an underhanded way.  My parents are not terribly sentimental people, but I noticed they reminisced a bit more than usual during the few days we were together for Thanksgiving.  And for that reason alone, I was exceptionally grateful.  I felt pretty cool when I showed my Granny the Ancestry App on the iPad.  She still doesn’t care two figs for the Ancestry App, but she does want an iPad.  You go Granny!


I’m grateful for the holidays, as I will have some extra time around the end of the month to work on a few projects that have piled up by my computer:

 1) Projects/Assignments/Research from my University of Strathclyde Genealogy Course – I have honestly never been this worked up about producing quality results in my life.  If I take anything away from this course, it will be a firm understanding of the obsessive cult of source citation.

 2) Transcribing Family Search Michigan County Death Records 1921-1952 – I’ve really been really pumped about this project!  If you’ve been conducting any sort of Michigan research, you probably noticed the gap in online death record availability.  This is frustrating as Michigan has a great history of record keeping; Birth/Marriage/Deaths were required at the county level beginning in 1867.

There is no ‘one stop shopping’ site for Michigan death records.  Think of the journey as a bizarre road from Family Search’s Michigan Deaths 1867-1897, Seeking Michigan’s Death Records 1897-1920, and Ancestry’s Michigan Deaths 1971-1996.

The completion of Family Search’s Michigan County Death Records 1921-1952 will bring light to a much needed record set, and hopefully create more availability for records from 1953 onward.  And it will also save genealogists quite a bit of coin, as Michigan death record requests run about $24 each.

3) Genealogical Presentations – I’ve been preparing/updating four presentations including:

  • What’s the Buzz About BillionGraves?
  • Notes from a Small Island – Discovering Records on
  • Peeling Back the Plaid – Revealing the Records of ScotlandsPeople
  • Piecing Together Your Irish Ancestry – Discovering Records on FindMyPast.iebilliongravesbuzz

If you want to preview one of my Ohio State Genealogical Society 2013 Conference seminars, bring your friends and stop in to the FPLD Genealogy Club meeting on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 7 pm.  I’m presenting What’s the Buzz About BillionGraves, and your feedback and comments are most welcome.  Plus there’s hot beverages and cookies, and who doesn’t like those?

4) Civil War Veteran Biographies – I’m working in conjunction with the Bolingbrook Historical Preservation Commission to compile biographies of local Civil War Veterans buried in our area cemeteries.  We’re looking for photographs (I’m stressing ANY PHOTOGRAPHS!) of each veteran and informational details, which will be printed and displayed in the cemeteries for Memorial Day and again in the library during our special summer 2013 Civil War programs.  Stay tuned for more details on this project!

5) BillionGraves Headstone Transcriptions – This is an end of the day wind-down project and something I look forward to working on when my folks are busy watching television.  I keep voting we play Monopoly, Yatzee, or something, but sadly TiVo wins every time.  *sigh*

6) Michael Wood’s Story of England – Due to school work, projects, and other research, I tend to stream my entertainment via Netflix.  I mainly use my storyofenglandTV for watching the occasional DVD, which tend to be of the non-fiction variety.  I’m a multi-tasker, and sitting to watch something is difficult.  Since I need to finish a few more scarves before Christmas, I grabbed Michael Wood’s Story of England, and began knitting away.  If you haven’t gotten around to watching it, please do so!  It’s an excellent look at the story of men and women through genealogy, history, anthropology, archeology, and all those additional social sciences which contribute England’s rich cultural heritage.  While you’re at it, I highly endorse Michael Wood’s additional programs which include In Search of Myths and Heroes, In Search of the Trojan War, The Story of India, In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, In Search of Shakespeare, Legacy: The Origins of Civilization, and Conquistadors.

Enjoy your winter holiday break!


One thought on “December’s To-Do List from a Genealogist – Wisdom Wednesday

  1. Go Granny, get your Ipod on.

    I had the pleasure of showing mine to my mother in Oct while she was visiting from out of state. Before she left to go back home, she went and purchased hers and came over for lessons. She is super hip now and using it to text her grandchildren.

    Happy holidays!

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